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Tenderize Meat: 5 BEST Meat Tenderizer Powder Substitutes

Ever found yourself ready to cook, meat laid out, and then…oop, no tenderizer powder in sight?

Yeah, been there. No worries, though!

You’ve got options, and some pretty great ones at that.

This isn’t just about salvaging a meal; it’s about taking it to the next level with stuff you likely have hanging around in your kitchen.

We’re talking tender, fall-apart goodness using alternatives you might not have considered.

Get ready to transform your meat dishes without that go-to powder.

Spoiler: Your pantry is a treasure trove waiting to be tapped.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Meat Tenderizer Powder

If you’re looking for an alternative to meat tenderizer powder, you may be surprised to learn how many viable substitutes there are.

Here are five of the best:

1 – Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white powder that is commonly used in baking.

It has a slightly salty taste and a gritty texture.

Baking soda is often used as a leavening agent, meaning it helps breads and cakes to rise.

It can also be used to tenderize meat by breaking down the proteins.

To substitute baking soda for meat tenderizer powder, use 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for every teaspoon of meat tenderizer powder.

Keep in mind that baked goods made with baking soda will have a slightly salty flavor.

2 – Wine, Citrus Juices, Vinegar

Wine, citrus juices, and vinegar can all be used as meat tenderizers.

When used correctly, they can add flavor and improve the texture of meat.

Wine and citrus juices work by breaking down the tough proteins in meat, making it more tender.

Vinegar works in a similar way, but it also has the added benefit of helping to retain moisture.

When substituted for meat tenderizer powder, these liquids can help to create a more flavorful and tender dish.

Simply soak the meat in the liquid for 30 minutes before cooking.

This will give the flavors time to penetrate the meat and make it more tender.

So don’t be afraid to experiment with different liquids when tenderizing meat – you might just be surprised at the results.

3 – Tomato Based Sauces

Tomatoes are a staple in many Italian dishes, and there are a variety of ways to prepare them.

One popular option is to make a tomato-based sauce.

These sauces can be either smooth or chunky, depending on your preference.

They are typically packed with flavor, and the tomatoes provide a natural sweetness that pairs well with other ingredients.

In addition, tomato-based sauces have a silky texture that coats pasta perfectly.

If you’re looking for a meat tenderizer powder substitute in your tomato sauce, simply add a tablespoon of vinegar for every pound of tomatoes.

This will help to break down the tougher fibers in the tomatoes, resulting in a more tender sauce.

Whether you’re preparing a classic marinara or something more unique, tomato-based sauces are a delicious way to enjoy this versatile fruit.

4 – Beer

Beer is a delicious and refreshing beverage enjoyed by people all over the world.

It has a unique taste and texture that sets it apart from other drinks.

In addition to its great taste, beer is also a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different recipes.

For example, beer can be used as a meat tenderizer powder.

This is because the hops in beer contain enzymes that break down proteins.

As a result, beer can help to tenderize the meat and make it more flavorful.

To use beer as a meat tenderizer powder, simply add it to your favorite recipe in place of the meat tenderizer powder.

You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

5 – Figs, Pineapple, Kiwis, Papaya

Figs, pineapple, kiwis, and papaya are all fruit that can act as meat tenderizer powder.

When combined with salt and acid, they help to break down the tough fibers in meat, making it more tender and flavorful.

Each of these fruits has its own unique taste and texture, so you can experiment to find the perfect combination for your dish.

Figs are sweet with a hint of richness, while pineapple is tart and juicy.

Kiwis are tangy and slightly acidic, while the papaya is sweet and creamy.

You can also use a combination of these fruits to create a unique flavor profile for your dish.

No matter what combination you choose, these fruits will help to tenderize your meat and make it more delicious.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Meat Tenderizer Powder

Ran out of meat tenderizer powder? Don't worry! Discover the 5 best substitutes that will help you achieve tender and juicy meats every time.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Baking Soda
  • Wine Citrus Juices, Vinegar
  • Tomato Based Sauces
  • Beer
  • Figs Pineapple, Kiwis, Papaya


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Meat Tenderizer Powder
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